Change in formula would mean tax hikesCarroll...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Change in formula would mean tax hikes

Carroll County residents, beware. Our property taxes will soon be on the rise. House Bill 1325 was passed by the Maryland House of Delegates.

This bill will change the basis of assessment on property from 40 percent to 100 percent while lowering, at least temporarily, the tax rate. Then it will be up to the revenue-seeking local government to be the "bad guy" in raising that tax rate, which is as sure as our piggyback tax hike.

Since H.B. 1325 was co-sponsored by the governor-appointed delegate from Carroll County, Ellen Willis, I expressed my disappointment in her tax-raising vote, the only vote for H.B. 1325 from the Carroll County delegation. Her aide said that maybe I should just contact the Republican Carroll delegates in the future.

I hope fo fulfill that request after the 1998 election when we once again send delegates to Annapolis who reflect the views of Carroll residents -- a feat Democrat Richard Dixon, for whom I voted, managed quite deftly. Until that time, we have an obligation to contact the appointed delegate, especially when she disregards the will of the people and votes for bills that may have draconian implications for the elderly and those just making ends meet and are trying to keep a roof over their children's heads.

Helga Rottach

Westminster

Ridgely, allies call names, twist record about dinner 'meeting,' Primoff says

As president of Carroll County Landowners Association, I have tried my best to ignore the personal attacks on me and members of our group.

I have advised all members not to participate in name-calling or personal character assassinations. I personally have tried in every way to work with the handful of South Carroll citizens who so vehemently oppose farmers being able to develop even one lot of their land.

I had Dan Hughes and his wife as well as Carolyn Fairbank at my home. At my request, their spokesman, Gene Edwards, met with me to discuss how we could find some common ground and work together.

I never brought up the fact that even as we spoke there was another stinging letter to the editor from him about me that very day. I have worked hard to remain focused on promoting property rights to protect farmers and landowners while maintaining managed growth. But statements made by Neil Ridgely are so filled with untruths they must not go unanswered.

He states that my wife and I as well as the Breitenothers and Hoby Wolf "camped right outside his meeting room." He implies that I or someone from my party notified the press about his meeting.

He states that he was only there for "a nice dinner with friends" and to discuss, in general, the '98 campaign and responsible levels of government.

He and his wife, Debbie, deny any knowledge of their group's plans to try to dump Commissioner Richard Yates. He also implies that he had no knowledge of the group's name, "The Gang of Seven," and infers that one of my party may have suggested it to the press.

Mr. Ridgely clearly knows that when he and his wife arrived at Liberatore's, a public restaurant, my wife and I along with the Breitenothers were already there and having dinner.

At that time, Hoby Wolf was not with us. We were not "camped outside his door," as he stated. We were in another room exactly where the hostess had seated us.

How unabashedly arrogant of him to suggest that we would go out of our way to go to dinner at any specific place because he was to be there.

As we were finishing dinner, we noticed that Mr. Wolf had stopped by to have a drink and was in the bar. We invited him to bring his drink to our table, which he did.

In a continued attempt to express our desire to get along, we had a bottle of wine delivered to their table with our best regards. They responded by requesting a $95 bottle of Dom Perignon, in jest I'm sure, and then accepted our gift graciously.

On their way out, some of the members thanked us and their spokesman stayed with us for a while to have a nice chat. Furthermore, Mr. Ridgely knows that it was his group that notified the press the day before of their meeting and what the agenda was to be.

The day before their meeting, their spokesman stated to the press and it was reported that their immediate focus was to defeat Mr. Yates in 1998.

After this gang realized the negative reaction that it received from the entire county because of this meeting and its agenda, it made the same denials that the Ridgelys made.

Now, just because we had dinner in the same restaurant as he, for Mr. Ridgely to try to throw the entire affair on the Breitenothers or myself is simply outrageous. He must learn to take responsibility for his own actions as well as the rest of the gang.

Edward Primoff

Sykesville

The writer is president of the Carroll County Landowners Association.

Yates stands by remarks

You took me to task for my honest and sincere remarks concerning Carroll County's role in trying to solve Baltimore's problems. The basic premise of your editorial was that I do not speak for the majority of Carroll County voters.

That concept does not fit with the 1994 election results. I spoke the same words then that I speak now. Baltimore has problems, problems that are not the fault of Carroll County.

Carroll did not install officials who believe that graft and corruption are part of the job perks. The Sun has almost daily revelations of official corruption in Baltimore City. The solution to saving Baltimore is very easy: Simply elect officials who are intelligent and honest.

I do not want Baltimore elected officials telling me how to run Carroll County any more than they would want me to tell them how to run Baltimore City. If the electorate in Baltimore thinks it is OK as to what is happening there, I say good, but don't lay the responsibility on Carroll County.

As far as needing Baltimore jobs for Carroll countians, you are right on target with one major exception. The jobs are in Baltimore for one reason. It is profitable for the company to be located there now. The moment it becomes unprofitable

because of high taxes and lack of skilled labor, those companies will move. When they do move, I will do my utmost to get them to come to Carroll County. They will get a better tax rate and plentiful skilled labor. Our people don't relish that ride into Baltimore every day.

Carroll County does not have race problems, period. Your editorial claims that we do. Where? Your liberalism is negative. It is opposite what most folks believe. Show me where I have hurt the folks who elected me. Don't point fingers. Come back with facts.

I see in Carroll history, great black family names such as Collins, Dorsey and Dixon. I challenge the editor to walk with me when I campaign in any area where there are black voters. You will see that their ideas and desires are exactly the same ideas and desires I express and with which you find so much fault.

Carroll voters have proven time and again that they have no color problem. State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon when running for delegate won repeatedly, and did it with an overwhelming white constituency. If you're going to continue your liberal bent, maybe The Sun should start a "Hotline" called the "Junkline."

Richard T. Yates

Westminster

The writer is a Carroll County commissioner.

Pub Date: 4/06/97

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